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Analytical Services

Analytical Services

BBE Laboratory was established in 2008 to provide a world-class service to the South African and sub-Saharan African mining and industrial industries mainly focusing on respirable airborne pollutants.  BBE Laboratory plays a leading role in diminishing the impact of airborne occupational hazards by providing state of the art analysis methods and sampling strategies.

BBE Laboratory strives to give accurate and traceable results on all samples.  We employ qualified and competent staff, use state of the art equipment and utilise relevant and up to date analytical analysis methods and monitoring programme development strategies.  A customised internet-based service can be provided to each client, with real time quotation, ordering, tracking and results publication.

We have close links and long-standing associations with most national and international role players in this field.

We always work to strict confidentiality guidelines however we are also able to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) to give our clients full peace of mind.

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Airborne pollutant monitoring filter preparation

Filter preparation includes pre- and post-weighing of occupational hygiene sample filters in accordance with GME 16/2/3/2/3, “Guidelines for the gravimetric sampling of airborne particulates for risk assessment in terms of the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act No 78 of 1973”.  All filters are issued with a unique BBE Laboratory number in addition to a client specific number, should it be required.  The relevant information is captured in a 2D barcode which is used to track the filter.

BBE Laboratory can supply the following filters on a regular basis:

  • MCE Ø25 mm 0.8 µm
  • MCE Ø37 mm 0.8 µm
  • PVC Ø25 mm 5.0 µm
  • PVC Ø37 mm 5.0 µm

Other filter types and sizes can also be supplied, please contact us to make special arrangements.

Airborne pollutants monitoring filter preparation

Respirable Alpha Quartz Analysis

X-ray Diffraction Respirable Alpha Quartz Analysis

Filters are analysed for respirable alpha quartz content by direct on X-ray Diffraction [XRD] according to Method MDHS 101, “Crystalline silica in respirable airborne dusts – Direct-on-filter analysis by infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction”.

A state of the art Bruker D4 Endevour automated 64 loader X-Ray analyser is used to ensure fast turnaround times.

NIST SRM 1878a is used to prepare calibrations filters.

Infrared Spectroscopy Respirable Alpha Quartz Analysis

Alpha quartz content of filters is determined by preparing potassium bromide [KBr] pellets and analysing the pellets by Fourier Transform Infra-Red [FT-IR] spectroscopy according to NIOSH 7602, “Silica, crystalline by IR [KBr pellet]”.

BBE Laboratory analyses client prepared KBr pellets or can prepare, press and analyse pellets from supplied filters according to NIOSH 7602, “Silica, crystalline by IR [KBr pellet]”.  KBr pellets are pressed using an automated press to ensure quality and to speed up turn around time.

Direct-on-filter respirable alpha quartz content determination can also be conducted by FT-IR spectroscopy according to Method MDHS 101, “Crystalline silica in respirable airborne dusts – Direct-on-filter analysis by infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction”.

NIST SRM 1878a is used to prepare calibrations filters.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We can issue no-obligation quotations once we have discussed your needs and can offer two levels of service “urgent” and “normal”. We also offer preferential rates for longer term analysis contracts.

NIST SRM 1878a is used to prepare calibrations filters.

Respirable Alpha Quartz Analysis

Occupational hygiene monitoring support services

With over 20 years’ experience in the field of occupational hygiene, with specific reference to respirable airborne pollutants, BBE Laboratory can assist with the following support services:

  1. Compilation of periodic reports on respirable pollutant exposure results for regulatory requirements.
  2. Development of an airborne pollutant monitoring strategy to comply with current and potential future regulations.
  3. Assist with the auditing of implemented airborne pollutant monitoring and reporting programmes.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We can issue no-obligation quotations once we have discussed your needs and can offer two levels of service “urgent” and “normal”. We also offer preferential rates for longer term contracts.

Rock Thermal Property Analysis

The following rock thermal properties can be determined using a state of the art data acquisition system, heat flux sensors and temperature probes:

  • Thermal conductivity
  • Density
  • Specific heat
  • Diffusivity (calculated)

This critical information can impact considerably on the cooling strategy and requirements of current or planned mining operations with specific reference to capital and operating costs

Rock Thermal Properties

Quality Assurance Systems

Accreditation

Quality is what drives BBE Laboratory operations every day.  In order to substantiate this BBE Laboratory is an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited laboratory [SANAS Facility Accreditation Number T0496]. Download the certificate here

BBE Laboratory is an ISO 17025:2005 accredited laboratory because the standard has all the requirements that testing and calibration laboratories have to meet in order to demonstrate that:

  • they operate a quality system,
  • are technically competent, and
  • are able to produce technically valid results

Selecting an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory means:

  • Acceptable degrees of uncertainty have been established
  • All methods are validated
  • Results are repeatable and reproducible
  • All tests are performed according to written work instructions
  • Technicians must complete documented training on each test they perform
  • Quality control samples are run frequently to ensure that every result is a quality result
  • Proficiency testing is done on a regular basis
  • Equipment is properly maintained and calibrated

 

The schedule of accreditation for BBE Laboratory under ISO/IEC 17025:2005 [SANAS] is:

  1. Gravimetric analysis of respirable dust and inhalable dust
  2. Quantitative analysis of respirable quartz and inhalable quartz by:
    • XRD Direct-on-Filter
    • FT-IR Direct-on-Filter
    • FT-IR KBr pellets
  3. Preparation of KBr pellets.

Proficiency Testing Schemes

To further enhance the strive to maintain the highest level of quality BBE Laboratory regularly participates in proficiency-testing schemes that provide independent verification of the analytical competence of a laboratory and shows a commitment to the maintenance and improvement of performance.  It demonstrates that procedures are under control and gives analysts confidence that the service which they provide will withstand scrutiny.

BBE Laboratory has been participating in the national NIOH [National Institute of Occupational Health] External Quality Assurance [EQA] Programme – Respirable Crystalline Silica since Round 2 in 31 October 2008 with good results obtained.

BBE Laboratory has also been participating in the international WASP [Workplace Analysis Scheme for Proficiency] testing hosted by the Health and Safety Laboratory [HSL] in the United Kingdom from Round 81 in April 2009 with a current Performance Index Category of 1 [Highest level].

Below are the WASP results:
Wasp-81 FTIR-KBr
Wasp-81 XRD-DOF
Wasp-82 FTIR-KBr
Wasp-82 XRD-DOF